Bill to block public records requests dies

OLYMPIA — An alliance of government forces has failed to secure help from state lawmakers in dealing with hefty and costly public records requests.

A House bill allowing public agencies to use the courts to block requesters and to limit the time spent compiling records died when it did not come up for a vote by a Wednesday deadline.

Representatives of cities, counties, school districts and prosecuting attorney offices told lawmakers in January that some requests are intended to harass and intimidate employees. House Bill 1128 provided a path to getting a judge’s permission not to fill those.

Twenty-six representatives signed on as sponsors, including Democratic Reps. Mike Sells of Everett, Luis Moscoso of Mountlake Terrace and Cindy Ryu of Shoreline.

The bill cleared the Local Government Committee but died in the Rules Committee.

“We ran out of time,” said Rep. Dean Takko, D-Longview, the bill’s sponsor and chairman of the committee. “We’re not done trying to address this situation.”

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